Vitamins & Minerals 101 | Niacin (B3) + Content Annoucement
with Savannah Welna of FeedThyDog, Nutrition Advocate

Super easy lesson today and not really one most pet parents have to worry about. This one was a short one this week so tomorrow I will be filming how I formulate using scientific standards for a dog start to finish. This is much more detailed than a simple PMR recipe. There is a wide range of people in the audience- and so I hope that this shows the kind of work that goes into the recipes I release here and demonstrate to those aspiring to formulate what the process is like. I will record this tomorrow!

Vitamin B3 | Niacin

Niacin is a water soluble vitamin best provided daily.


Niacin is critical for energy. Building things, taking things down, recycling other nutrients- a lot of things require energy and therefore require niacin!

Less discussed roles of Niacin include DNA repair and needed for the function of neurotransmitters


Dogs can actually synthesize niacin from protein- but doing so requires using other nutrients. It is best to get Niacin directly from food- especially because the rate at which this is done is not known precisely and can vary.

Plant Vs. Animal Based

Niacin should be provided from animal based foods. Niacin from cereal grains is bound and has very low bioavailability.


Deficiencies are rare and would manifest from lack of food entirely. Deficiency in dogs was seen in the early 1900s when some dogs were fed plant based diets experimentally when some dogs were noticed to have severe oral disturbances. Dogs were used to understand pellagra- a condition affecting humans resulting from niacin deficiency.

Severe disturbances to the skin, gut, mouth, are seen and eventually death occurs.

Most homemade diets are heavy in animal products that include plenty of Niacin and commercial foods that are processed most often (when following nutrient guidelines) supplement niacin.


Lean meat in general is a great source of Niacin. Providing your dog with plenty of fresh animal based food with boost their Niacin quite easily!

Cooking & Storage

Niacin is shelf stable and tends to be less affected by cooking relative to the other B vitamins.


Dogs expending more energy will need more Niacin Similar to the other water soluble vitamins, disturbances to the gut and some medical conditions will increase the Niacin requirement.

That’s all for this lesson because Niacin is so easy to provide in the diet if you are feeding an animal-based high quality diet!